Grand opening of the Stephen Hawking Centre
It was three days of celebrations filled with ideas and discovery. The official opening of the Stephen Hawking Centre involved a combination of tours, exhibits, public lectures and other events for just over 10,000 in attendance on-site plus wider on-line and broadcast audiences. At the same time, Perimeter was able to share its sincere thanks with public and private partners, as well as provide special joint-announcements.
The following summary of the events offers quotes, clips, photos, media accounts and other resources to convey the full scope of celebrations that launched the world’s largest centre devoted to research, training and educational outreach activities in foundational physics.
Words from Stephen Hawking
In conjunction with an official ribbon cutting and special announcements by Perimeter Director Neil Turok, Stephen Hawking offered these words on the importance of scientific research and the role of Perimeter, “Theoretical physics is the most basic and powerful science, responsible for essentially every modern technology. Indeed, history shows us that today's theoretical physics is tomorrow's technology. It is easy to feel awed by the discoveries of Newton, Maxwell, Einstein and others. To go beyond them will require fearless creativity and extraordinary insight. Special places like Perimeter encourage young scientists to be ambitious and bold. And I do believe in the limitless power of the human mind to understand the universe and to create the future.”
Prof. Hawking concluded with thanks to all those involved with the new facility, “It is a tremendous honour to have this expansion of Perimeter Institute named for me. I would like to thank the Province of Ontario and the federal Government of Canada, through the MRI and CFI respectively, for funding this research centre expansion, alongside a very generous private donor. To all the public and private partners who share in Perimeter's vision and support its good work, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. The centre's clear focus, inspiring design, and productive research interactions will no doubt attract many leading scientists here. Perimeter is on a great path, and I am delighted to be associated with it.”
Stephen Hawking commented further on the importance of science in a special broadcast from the grand opening ceremonies at Perimeter Institute.
The importance of strong partnerships was highlighted throughout the three days of activities, and included news of the recruitment of leading scientist Xiao-Gang Wen to the BMO Financial Group Isaac Newton Chair in Theoretical Physics at Perimeter Institute.
Additional announcements and views were shared by a range of dignitaries and public-private partners, including those from the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. A sampling of the comments includes:
Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada
“Here, today’s premier theoretical physicists are able to set their minds free, to learn, and to envision what is and what can be” said The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. “To understand the nature of the universe and everything in between is no small undertaking. But those here at this institute are confronting these questions head-on.”
Hon. Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology
“The work being done here is an immense source of pride for all of Canada and all of our citizens, and it is indeed an impressive body of groundbreaking research,” said Canada’s Minister of State for Science and Technology, the Honourable Gary Goodyear. “I look forward to Perimeter’s future successes and sharing in the wonders of science with Canadians and the rest of the world. Congratulations on completing a magnficant facility - innovative in its design and its intentions."
George Ross, Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation
“Perimeter is a logical place for this centre and a logical place for Ontario to invest...” said George Ross, Deputy Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. “The work of the Perimeter Institute is helping to build the reputation of Ontario today, but no less important, PI’s outreach programs are inspiring future generations to pursue math and physics.”
About our partners
Perimeter Institute is very thankful to all public and private partners, as well as grand opening sponsors including BMO Financial Group, lead sponsor; TVO, Presenting Media Partner; Christie Digital Systems and other participating organizations. Title Entertainment is an integral member of Perimeter’s production partner team, which also includes Distinct Features Inc., Eclipse Productions & Design and Sherwood Systems.